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The Academy for Scholastic and Personal Success
PO Box 2842
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406
All proceeds go to expand programing at The Academy for Scholastic and Personal Success
“Ray Blue has a majestic presence…when playing, his sense of purpose is obvious… It’s one thing to be a good composer, it’s another to be a great performer. Ray Blue’s got the whole package.” Jean Szlamowicz, Jazz Hot, Down Beat
Ray Blue is a New York bred saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator who is a regular on the New York scene and performs internationally. He has studied and mentored with; Paul Jeffries, Charles Davis, Sonny Sharrock, Barry Harris, Ornette Coleman, Benny Powell and George Coleman. As a leader he performs with classic and diverse rhythm sections and an Organ quartet. Over the years he has shared the stage and studio as leader, sideman and band member with; John Gilmore, Dr. Art Davis, Benny Powell, Eddie Henderson, Kirk Lightsey, Charlie Persip Super Band, Clifford Adams, Wycliff Gordon, Bernard Purdie, Steve Turre, Ted Curson, Joe Lee Wilson, Alicia Keys, The Sun Ra Arkestra, Cotton Club All Stars and many others.
He was also a cast member of the “Ray Charles Show” which toured in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy 2008 to 2010.
Some of his festival performances as leader and featured artist include: North Sea Jazz Festival-Cape Town, South Africa; Hartford Jazz Festival, Hartford, Connecticut; Zanzibar International Film Festival, Zanzibar, Tanzania; Macufe Festival-Bloemfontain, South Africa; European Union Annex Festival-Dublin, Ireland; Audi Jazz Festival, Brussels, Belgium; Macao Jazz Festival, China; Midi Music Festival-Beijing, China; Pori Jazz Festival, Finland, Mintz Jazz Festival, Belarus and others.
Ray Blue consults and presents at schools, colleges, universities and community institutions around the world. He is the founder and Executive Director of CrossCultural Connection, Inc. a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that promotes jazz culture, performance and education. Initially founded in Cedar Rapids Iowa in 2005, the C.C.C. is now based in New York and operates internationally.
As a presenter, Ray Blue has brought numerous programs and presentations to elementary schools, middle schools and high schools as well as to colleges and universities. These include: Jazz History, Harlem Renessance; Musical Story Telling – Anti-Bullying, Good Decision Making, Honoring Our Heroes, Creating a Success Model, Celebrating the Black Family.
As an Adjunct professor at CUNY, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Ray taught in the BMI/BWI – Black Men and Black Women Initiative program. A student retention and academic success program designed for students of color. He implemented this concept in the Nelson Mandella Alternative High School in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. by introducing the “College Push” program. Ray has presented at a number of Black Student Retention Conferences and has been called upon by schools, colleges and community groups to discuss strategies for addressing the social and academic needs of children and families of color.
Ray Blue is a graduate of Wm. Penn University (B.S) and The University of Iowa (M.S.W.). Wm. Penn University annually presents “The Ray Blue Jazz Award” since 2004 to a graduating senior. In addition, They hosted its inaugural “Jazz Education Festival” in 2007 for High School and College musicians in Ray Blue’s name and presented Ray the “Distinguished Career Award” in 2010. Ray Blue is a 2013 “Blues Hall of Fame” inductee – Master Blues and Jazz Artist. 2015 Iowa Juneteenth “Jazz Legacy Award”, 2016 “Arts Education Award”, 2017 “Living Legacy Award”.
Ray released his first CD as a leader, Always with a Purpose, in 2001. Then came Ray Blue Live at Liars Theater in 2004 and “Ray Blue Live at Liars Theater 2 in 2005. In 2006 Ray released ‘Transvision’ and Berries and Blues in 2010. He is currently recording and producing a new CD that will be released in early, 2019 on the Jazz Heads label.
Ray endorses GB Saxophones and Vandoren mouthpieces, reeds and accessories.